You may not have heard of the Yogic diet, but it’s the latest new thing in the pursuit of healthy eating. The Yogic diet, however, is not just about types or amounts of food, but also the principles behind the diet.

Those who practice Yogic eating believe that what you eat is food for your soul, and Yogis think that food is the creator of prana, which is the life force that gives us health and vitality.

This means that the type of foods that people choose to eat reflect their level of conscious development, and yoga disciples adhere to an ethical or pure vegetarian diet. This ethically sound diet helps with the development of sattva, which is a quality of love, connection and peace with all sentient creatures. If you do not eat with this sense of love and connection, Yogis believe that it has a bad effect on other areas of our lives.

The concept behind sattva is the principle of ahimsa. This means avoiding any foods that involve killing or harming animals. Yogic practitioners are also encouraged to eat foods grown in harmony with nature, and ones that are ripened and grown organically.

The foods should also be prepared with positive intentions and love, and any foods that do not fit with yogic principles should be avoided.

Foods that fit with a Yogic diet

1. Fruits of all kinds, especially naturally sweet ones

2. All kinds of vegetables, with the exception of onions and garlic

3. Whole grains, particularly oats, wheat and rice

4. Beans, including mung beans, tofu and adzuki beans

5. Plant oils such as sunflower, olive and sesame oil

6. Nuts and seeds – not salted or excessively roasted

7. Natural, unprocessed sugars such as honey, maple and molasses

8. Herbal teas and infusions, also water with added citrus fruit

9. Spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, basil, mint, ginger, turmeric, cumin and fennel

10. Food that is prepared carefully and with love, and gratitude expressed before eating it

Foods to cut back on or avoid when following a Yogic diet

1. Eggs, meat and fish of all types

2. Artificial or processed foods, sweeteners, soda drinks and junk food

Sweeteners

3. Animal fats such as lard, butter and also margarine

4. Fried foods of all kinds

5. Canned foods, but naturally canned tomatoes and fruit are fine

6. White flour, sugar and other refined foods

7. Garlic, onions or spicy foods

8. Stale, overcooked foods

9. Microwaved foods

10. Tobacco, alcohol and other stimulants

11. Genetically engineered foods

12. Food that is rushed or eaten in a chaotic environment, such as while driving or whilst working